Level 4: Sellable

You’ve reached the point where you’ve successfully removed yourself from day-to-day operations. The business is not dependent on you nor any specific team members to operate. It’s humming along harmoniously with all the necessary resources it now has in place. It can finally run itself without your constant attention, input and oversight.

You’ve learned that your business is just a collection of interdependent systems that can be designed and engineered to deliver extraordinary outcomes for everyone involved.

At this level, how you do business is very clear to your team and to the customers the business serves. It’s clear who does what, by when, and how. The business has developed its brand and its reputation in the market.

Continuous improvement is now ingrained into the culture. You no longer need to remind your team to improve, design or update your strategies, systems, tools and processes because everyone enjoys how efficiently work gets done with all resources centralised, streamlined, organised and documented.

Continuous improvement is in your company’s DNA. It’s just how your company operates.

Your Ultimate Competitive Advantage emerges as a result of the way your business has been designed to operate by the time it reaches this level.

Your company effortlessly attracts the best customers in your market due to its outstanding reputation created over time — people want to continue to do business with companies that provide extraordinary products, services and experiences that add value to their lives.

Your company also effortlessly attracts top talent due to its outstanding reputation as an employer — people want to work at healthy, functional and inspiring workplaces. They want to be happy at work where they’re recognised and appreciated for who they are, and engage in work that makes them come alive.

Your business is now more profitable than ever and everyone is having more fun and joy at work. You finally have the options, flexibility and freedom you wanted!

When your business makes money without you being there 8-10 hours a day, you’re experiencing true business ownership which is an entirely different experience than running one.

Level 4 - Freedom

This level is rare for most business owners to reach, but it isn’t impossible.

Once your business becomes a sellable asset at this level, you get to operate at a different level in life, and life opens up to you. You have more space and time to think, design, strategise or just enjoy the good in life.

At this point, you can choose to only do the work you absolutely love in the business, do something else with all the free time you have (start new projects or indulge in your hobbies) or sell the business for a lucrative sum.

Often, when business owners sell their business, it’s because they’ve reached a point where they no longer want to tolerate the work they’re doing. They’ve come to despise their own creation and want their business out of their lives.

This is not unusual because human beings only want to keep things they enjoy and love in their lives, not things they’ve come to despise, resent or hate.

The irony is that when people own a business they love, and they’re aligned with the work they’re doing (because it’s what they love to do), they usually don’t want to sell the business because life becomes too much fun for them at that point!

Common Challenges

  • Not paying attention to the market
  • Not innovating
  • Failing to protect the business’s position in the market
  • Not planning for leadership transition
  • Lack of future clarity
  • Adding bloat and inefficiencies back into the business with misaligned products and services, or misallocation of resources

What Your Business Needs To Stay Exceptional: Continue its legacy

  • Legacy Continuance
  • New Leadership
  • Passionate Promoters
  • Future Vision (beyond the Founder)
  • Ongoing Adaptation

Important Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Do I really want to sell the business?
  • Do our people and customers passionately defend, support, and help the business?
  • Do people inside and outside the business passionately promote the company without being asked?
  • Does the business have a plan for new leadership to stay fresh?
  • Does the business have a clear future vision and make periodical adjustments to bring the vision to life?
  • Is the business designed to constantly adapt, improve, and find ways to better itself?

Now that you’ve gone through the roadmap and seen the entire journey to building an Exceptional Business from the birds-eye-view…

I can only hope it helped you gain new perspectives, insights and a new level of clarity, so you can better navigate the journey that you’re on.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember this:

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.”

— John Heywood

We all need to be reminded of the fact that it requires time, effort and patience to create and build something great.

Exceptional Businesses deserve that from us.

Anything worth doing in life is NOT supposed to be easy.

If you’re committed to designing an Exceptional Business, let’s help you put the roadmap to use so you can level up…